Updated: Feb 26
This sequel to Scythe is truly invigorating keeping you on your toes from start to finish.
Rowan has gone rogue and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid and has been striking out against corrupt scythes.
Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes.
Shortly after I started, I had this initial observation of this trilogy that I noted in my journal ~ The set up of this series reminds me similar to The Hunger Games set up. Where the first book was all about the hunger games and following Katniss throughout the games and her experiences as a tribute. The second book was where we learned more about the land of Panem and all the individual districts. Then the last book showcased the fall of Panem and the hunger games. Seeing how things are going, the Scythe trilogy seems very similar to The Hunger Games, although I have no idea what events will occur in the third novel.
When it comes to the Scythe trilogy, the first book is set up in a very similar manner, solely focusing on this concept of becoming a Scythe and the scythedom. Where we follow Citra and Rowan become apprentices to Scythe Faraday, and we learn all the details of being a scythe, the rules, their yearly meetings, etc. Now this second book, we’re going into it already knowing the details in the scythedom, but we have yet to learn about the rest of the world or how it works. So through the eyes of our newest character, Greyson, and journal-like entries from the AI, Thunderhead itself, we’re getting to learn more about this dystopian society.
Through the eyes of our newest character, Greyson, and journal-like entries from the AI, Thunderhead itself, we’re getting to learn more about this dystopian society.
I especially enjoyed reading these journal-like entries from the Thunderhead. It makes this AI feel almost human with its thoughts that it’s able to put together. The remorse of its actions. Plus its ability to find loopholes in the rules it has to follow.
This sequel is truly invigorating. But at the same time, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Scythe. With this, I can’t help but feel like our characters’ roles have shifted. In Scythe, we had an equal view of Rowan and Citra’s point of view. We didn’t see anyone else’s thoughts besides what we read in their scythe journals. So Rowan and Citra were the main characters, we were following their story.
In this second book, Thunderhead, however, feels like Rowan becomes more of a side character, we rarely got to see his point of view, and when we do it’s only in short chunks. Citra still remains a main character, but we’re introduced to so many other new and existing characters’ points of view. In fact, besides Citra, I believe our other main characters are Greyson and the Thunderhead itself. Although Thunderhead is not a human being only artificial intelligence, we see it’s thoughts throughout the novel in journal-like entries. We see it as almost human, as it cares for Greyson, Citra, and Rowan. We see its actions throughout the book more so in Thunderhead than in Scythe.
Since the story has shifted away from Rowan and Citra to Citra and Greyson, I can’t help but be a bit disappointed. Thunderhead feels almost like a completely different story. The first book, Scythe definitely helped with understanding Citra’s and Rowan’s background and explains in more detail the idea behind the Scythes and the scythedom. But I don’t see Thunderhead as a true sequel to Citra and Rowan’s story. Citra’s, yes. Rowan’s? Not so much. Thunderhead felt like its own novel that’s set in the same universe as Scythe.
Thunderhead felt like its own novel that’s set in the same universe as Scythe.
Considering the ending of Thunderhead, I can honestly say I see the majority of The Toll having very little to do with Citra and Rowan. Especially with how things ended. I see Greyson taking over as the main character for The Toll. Along with Scythe Faraday, based on where things were left with his actions and the name of this third book. I wouldn’t be surprised by this at all. However, I would be very disappointed. To start off a series with two characters, almost remove one of them in the sequel and then completely remove both in the third. That’s just not okay. But I haven’t read The Toll, yet. I’m only speculating at this point. I haven’t even read the synopsis of the third book. I just see it highly likely based on how things were left.
Despite the shift in characters involved, I did enjoy Thunderhead to an extent. The majority of this book was not enjoyable per se but was captivating. I was hooked from the first page much like with Scythe. Then about halfway through, I decided I didn’t like the events and actions occurring. The actions of some of the characters were unnerving and sinister. As if I didn’t hate them enough.
Overall, I think Thunderhead is an invigorating book that keeps us on our toes throughout the entire book. There’s never a dull moment. I never felt bored. Although I don’t agree fully with the route this sequel went, it’s completely captivating leaving me to want to know what happens next. Thunderhead is written in a similar yet completely different manner to Scythe in regards to the characters’ point of view. While not necessarily a bad thing, I personally didn’t agree with this choice. If you haven’t already read Scythe, I highly recommend you do! Especially if you’re into dystopian or sci-fi, also if you’re a fan of The Hunger Games or Divergent.